May 5, 2010

How to get relieved of stress?

Question asked by a devotee: Whenever I am in satsang I feel de-stressed but once I am out of satsang the stress level increases. My question is, how to get relieved of stress?

Answer from Swamiji: 
People in present age are experiencing more stress. We experience stress because we want something to happen or we get attached to some situation and think it should be like this. If we surrender to God and think whatever God does, He does it for good, that feeling of surrender will get rid of our stress. 

Thus, stress is a symptom of lack of our surrender. When we experience stress, the best medicine to cure it is to increase our level of surrender. Now, what is the problem in increasing the level of surrender? Worldly attachments. We keep on pondering, "This should happen this way; that should happen that way." This is the main hurdle for complete surrender. We need to increase detachment to increase the level of surrender. 

The soul is not independent. It is not in the hands of soul to fulfill all of its desires. By nature, the soul is a servant of God. Now, what is the duty of a servant? Whatever his master wishes, he must wish the same.
rāzi hain usi mein jis mein teri razā hai.
yun bhi wāh wāh hai tyun bhi wāh wāh hai.

So, by increasing the level of detachment and surrendering to God, we can get rid of stress. 

Before God-realization there will always be some level of tension within all because the percent of surrender will not be one-hundred percent. God-realization is yet to happen, which means that the surrender is not yet complete. However, by giving us tension, God is signaling us that something is wrong and we need to get it right by surrendering to Him. This is just as when we put our hand in the fire, we feel pain. What would happen if we did not feel the pain? Our hand would burn without our knowing it. The feeling of pain is, in fact, a form of Grace. We are getting the signal that something is wrong, and we must take the hand out. Similarly, stress is a signal that we need more of detachment, more surrender and more of devotion. 

A spiritual doctor will prescribe you the medicine of surrender to get relieved of stress, whereas a material doctor will give you all kinds of chemical medicines. But such chemical medicines will not help eradicate the root cause of stress. By increasing the level of surrender, the cause of stress itself will be eradicated. Shree Krishna states this in the Bhagavad Geeta: 

karmaye vādhikāraste, mā phalehu kadāchana

"Work with full dedication. Do not be careless while performing your tasks. But do not get attached to the fruits of those works." Else, you will definitely experience stress. So, trash away the attachment to the fruits of your work. Shree Krishna again says:

yogina karma kurvanti sangan tyaktvatm shuddha ye

"A yogi is one who can work without any attachment to the results." If we follow this formula, stress will be abolished from its roots.